Preparing Youth for Success

4-H is a non-formal educational, youth development program offered to individuals age 5 and in kindergarten to age 19. Ohio 4-H youth development reaches more than 240,000 youth each year – helping kids “learn by doing” through hands-on activities.

All 4-H programs focus on active involvement and quality experiences which stimulate lifelong learning of values and skills. 4-H members learn valuable lessons in leadership, communication and collaboration while increasing their knowledge in math, science, technology and a variety of other topics.

4-H creates fun while learning in a variety of ways. Kids can participate in 4-H through community clubs, camps, in-school and after-school activities, and summer programs. They increase their self-confidence and personal life skills while learning about specific subjects - anything from animals or computers to public speaking, cooking, art, gardening and environmental sciences, just to name a few project topics.

A total of 207 volunteers developed educational opportunities for 1,118 youth in 40 clubs. Volunteers also assisted youth to help complete 3,946 projects.  635 youth participated in Livestock Quality Assurance training in 2014.  Our 4-H programming reached 2,313 youth through traditional clubs and school programming. In addition, 4-H Volunteers and Youth along with community businesses continued to raise funds for the 4-H program.

Real Money, Real World is an active, hands-on experience that gives young people the opportunity to make lifestyle and budget choices similar to those they will make as adults. This experience helped some 1,195 Allen County middle and high school students to explore careers and realize the importance of family budgeting and how today’s consumer economy works. After completing the exercise, students stated: “I need to prepare myself better by doing well in school,” “It costs a lot to raise kids,” “I need to work hard in school and plan for my future,” and “I didn’t know how much everything cost. I need to think about college and what I want to do.”

You can also learn more about all OSU Extension 4-H youth development programs at

Extension has been helping all Ohioans build better lives, better businesses and better communities since 1914.